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The court was informed that the alleged victim in the Kurtley Beale trial has consistently maintained that she did not give consent for the sexual assault.
Rugby union Sport

The court was informed that the alleged victim in the Kurtley Beale trial has consistently maintained that she did not give consent for the sexual assault.

A court has heard that a woman who has accused rugby player Kurtley Beale of sexual assault has been unwavering in her testimony that she did not give consent.

On Wednesday, after a week and a half of presenting evidence, prosecutor Jeff Tunks delivered his closing statement. The jury will now take time to deliberate and make their decision later this week.

Beale, who is 35 years old, is being charged with engaging in sexual activity without consent and two instances of sexual touching in the district court of NSW. These charges stem from an incident that took place at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel in December of 2022.

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He has denied responsibility for all of the accusations.

The individual, whose identity cannot be disclosed for legal purposes, claims that Beale touched her buttocks and coerced her into performing oral sex in a restroom stall designated for men.

During the trial, Beale’s attorney Margaret Cunneen proposed that the woman engaged in consensual sexual activity with Beale due to problems in her relationship with her fiance.

Tunks requested that the jurors determine that the woman was consistently adamant in stating that she did not give consent for any sexual activity with Beale.

He stated that they should also consider if Beale was “negligent in determining whether she gave consent or not.”

The jury was once again presented with security camera footage from the pub on the evening of the event, exhibiting the actions of Beale and the woman leading up to their entrance into the restroom.

“The defendant opens the door and goes into the men’s restroom,” Tunks stated. “[The supposed victim] also enters through the still open door, which then closes.”

At first, the woman informed the authorities that she was unsure of who entered the bathroom first, but later disclosed to others that Beale had followed her in.

Tunks informed the jury that it is up to them to interpret the information.

The woman claims that while they were inside, Beale followed her into a small room and quickly exposed his genitals before making her put it into her mouth.

During the court proceedings, the woman asserted that she had stated “no” multiple times and reminded Beale, who was married, and herself, who was engaged, that their relationship was unacceptable.

According to Tunks, the main issue is that she has said “no” multiple times.

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The jury may have perceived the woman’s testimony as “defiant” or “combative”, especially during cross-examination, according to his statement.

“It doesn’t matter whether you found her evidence to be appealing or likable,” he stated.

The jurors were reminded to consider the situation surrounding the woman’s testimony, which required her to reveal highly personal and sensitive details about her life.

Tunks stated that she was present in the courtroom, sitting in the witness box surrounded by unfamiliar faces.

She was requested to explain intimate actions to a group of unfamiliar individuals.

During her testimony lasting almost four days, the woman was interrogated about various aspects such as her attire for the evening and consumption of substances.

Tunks stated that it may seem obvious that in 2024, what an individual wears for a night out should not be a factor in a criminal trial.

The defense will present its final arguments on Thursday.

Source: theguardian.com